A Day in the Life with Giacomo Parato, Head of Agile Transformation at Maersk
Ahead of our upcoming Nordics Digital Enterprise Festival (DEF) on 7th February 2019 in Copenhagen, we caught up with one of the event’s industry speakers, Giacomo Parato, Head of Agile Transformation at Maersk.
Below are a few questions we put to Giacomo, and his responses. You can check out the full speaker line up, grab 241 tickets & agenda for the Nordics Digital Enterprise Fest here: http://digitalenterprisefest.com/nordics/
DEF: On Maersk.com homepage it says: “We are leading the digital
transformation at Maersk”. Can you briefly tell us about the work carried out at Maersk, including the company’s product offering and how it develops strategic partnerships?
Giacomo: We have embarked into the digital era with an old vessel… To transform an old industry like shipping it´s not enough to just revamp the way you execute projects. Actually, that wouldn’t take you anywhere. This is why we are on a more complex journey of transformation. To digitize this industry and create new global opportunities, we need to embrace a new mindset that can really innovate with our partners and with our customers. We have developed strategic partnerships with industry-leading vendors within the digital space. This has helped us enormously to accelerate our digital product offering.
DEF: Please tell us a bit more about your role at Maersk Digital and what your main responsibilities are? What does a typical day at the office look like for you?
Giacomo: A typical day does not exist in transformation, or, a typical day is a day full of change, with new ideas, a day that is disrupted by external events. What I do is quite different from day-to-day. It can vary from working with my team to set up the structures and teams that will create a new digital product, to talking to senior management about our funding model, or even creating an event, as well as speaking at conferences.
DEF: What do you enjoy the most about the work that you do at Maersk and why?
Giacomo: I think it´s an extremely fascinating this journey. This is like transforming an old dinosaur into a unicorn; it´s extremely hard sometimes because of the internal resistance, but very rewarding when you see that people adopt a new mindset.
DEF: Which aspects of digital transformation do you think companies often overlook when building a digital optimisation strategy?
Giacomo: Definitely the mindset. Companies usually think that this is a process that can be mapped out, planned, executed and controlled. Unfortunately, innovation and especially digital is unstable by nature and cannot be fully controlled. Writing software is a social experience; talking to customers and understanding their needs is an art. This is why large companies do not understand that the approach to this transformation needs to be completely different.
DEF: Can you tell us what is the main focus/ are the main focus areas of Maersk’s digital transformation strategy?
Giacomo: Sure. End to end logistics, great customer experience through digital analytical products. We have humongous amounts of data. We need to leverage that and provide amazing customer experiences.
DEF: In your opinion is digital optimisation necessary in order to compete in the larger sectors, such as banking and technology, in the Nordics? What about for smaller companies or start-up businesses? Should they also be thinking digitally even with a small client base?
Giacomo: Small companies have a unique opportunity since they are starting from scratch and do not have the legacy systems that constrain them. Also, they are agile and flexible, so they should really focus in not losing this agility.
DEF: Digital transformation has already taken us on a significant journey both in business and in our personal lives. In your opinion, what big things do you think we should be looking out for in 2019?
Giacomo: I believe hardware technology is way ahead of software; in the coming years the talent pool of software engineers will be a real challenge. Also, AI and IOT has not yet gained a massive market, especially in business. In 2019 we will see way more of that.
DEF: You are going to be speaking at a session in our next Nordics Digital Enterprise Fest event in Copenhagen on 7th February 2019. Without giving too much away, can you tell us a bit more about what you will cover?
Giacomo: I will cover the real challenges that a dinosaur like Maersk is facing in a transformation journey. It will be real stories of failures and successes in our transformation journey in moving towards becoming an agile company.
DEF: If you weren’t working in digital transformation what would you be doing instead and why?
Giacomo: Maybe a furniture designer, but since it took me two years to complete a side table, that wouldn´t be a very profitable business. Jokes aside, I would love to be a fulltime mentor and coach, but I still have a lot to learn in that space.
DEF: If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you and why?
Giacomo: A raincoat to protect myself and collect water; a speargun to fish, and maybe a satellite phone to call for pick-up!
In addition to our Copenhagen gig we have other amazing events scheduled in 2019. For sponsorship, speaker or ticket enquiries, please visit our website here, or give us a call on 00 44 203 9500 565 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to see you soon, have a great day.